Custom Search
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Friday, July 07, 2017

Mammograms and my scattered life

Unlike last time, I got a letter back from the women's center saying my mammogram is all clear. "No abnormalties that indicate breast cancer. The last time THEY acted completely freaked out, called me back in, did another mammogram while making no eye contact, then left me laying on a table for over an hour while a doctor went around looking at women's results, doing a hands-on exam and telling them whether or not they had cancer.  I lay on that table for over an hour listening to women crying... I started planning my will.  Fortunately, I had some pearl-cysts he said... not cancer...  but what an ordeal.  To rub more salt in the would, they completely messed up my billing (hence the experience this time).  But the cysts eventually went away, I poked them daily for like a year until I could not feel them anymore, and I am all good.

I don't know about this FitBit. Maybe I'm nuts, but I think I can feel the sensors... I am very aware of my wrist the whole time. I am tracking my meals and keeping them 500-1000 calories a day under what I burn. It is making me get up more and to exercise more... and I have lost a couple pounds so I will keep using it for a while.

My work has me perplexed. I need to finish the book I am working on...It needs to be finished, and I need to get going with my homeschool advocacy.  There never seems to be the time.  It is probably the most important thing I am doing.

Meanwhile,... The industry I jumped into last year (vintage and antique furniture) is actually struggling right now as an industry and I have moved shops and am trying different things, because the most dedicated people do make money. I am just really mad that one of the places I joined recently over represented their sales... sure, there are always cars in the parking lot, but they are all vendors cars, so... yeah... The good news is the newest place I found is doing well, and kinda effortlessly, but it is a design center, not a vintage or antique place, and the things I find attractive seem to sell well there. I am looking forward to putting up my Christmas display.  In addition, my bestie just got her Real-Estate license (remember when I was trying that) and I am helping to set up her business... I will be introducing her soon... she's kinda awesome. I have dabbled in real-estate my entire life and have a paralegal degree, and as her career takes off, I could unintentionally end up with a job.

Since the last election, I have quietly participated in groups that discuss politics, but they are starting to lose focus and bicker too much for my comfort. As the next election draws near, I know focus will come back, but for now, I have retreated because my sanity is important.... and thinking about the state of our politics non stop will make anyone angry.

Yes, this is all too much, and if you follow me you know I also make costumes and am on the board of a community theatre... This kind of work probably needs to be passed on to my daughter... I like being valued, but it is her real gifting, I only got into it due to her.

Oh yeah, I'm an artist... I really need to paint something... and things seem to be MOVING on the home front... I may be building a house.  Shoot me now.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The 7:30 Am Mammogram

I have a horrible fixation with having the first appointment of the morning. I hate the idea of being behind whatever could possibly go wrong during the day. A previous appointment who is late. The doctor (or whoever the appointment is with) having a bad sandwich... whatever could affect the course of one's day.... I don't want it to affect mine. So if the mammogram office tells me that there is a 7:30 AM appointment, I am taking it.

Yes. I am crazy.

First, I didn't sleep well not wanting to miss my appointment and worried that I would not wake up with the 6am alarm (as I had to be there at 7)  so I was cranky and tired. Second, It was for a mammogram, so I had high anxiety. Third, I hadn't had a mammogram in 4 years because the hospital messed up my bill the last time, and it took 3 years to straighten it out, I didn't want to deal with them again.   Also, they scared me to death and inconvenienced me thinking something was wrong for the doctor to decide it was nothing. Oh, I almost caused a car accident on the way... did I say anxiety?

So the first person I deal with is the account person. She doesn't want to be up at that hour either.... and if I remember correctly, she is the same person who did my billing last time. I ask to pay my copay right away, and in a very nasty tone she says she can't because she does not know how much my insurance will cover or not (every other doctor can estimate this though).  I tell her why, because of the problem with the last time, and she gets offensive, and says "I don't know what you are talking about. That did not happen."  So, I'm like whatever, she's like whatever, so whatever.  She walked me to the back and gave me brief instructions, nothing like the gentle instructions I heard her give every other person so... forget her.  Unlike last time, I was not instructed that I could have a refreshment, nothing... she spoke to me like I was a dog. I wanted to cut her, but I did not. She lived.

Thank goodness, the technician was wonderful. She played a weird game of twister with my body, but she was encouraging and pleasant.... and handsy... but that was her job. Unlike the last time, halfway through, she did not fall silent and break eye contact.  I did not leave with more anxiety. Whether I have to go back again for more tests like last time, I am not worried about it... so, good.  That is over, at least for now.

The best thing about that appointment is I was back home by 8:30.... and I took a mid-day nap.

Next time, OBGYN.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

My fitbit and me

I got a FitBit for my 49th birthday. I like it. My husband got the newest model which tracks heart rate... and it is sleek and looks really nice, especially with the new rose-gold band I got for it as the original one was bordering on too small. Perhaps it will fit in a couple months.

 I have been tracking my steps wallked, daily calories expended, and my food intake through the handy-dandy iphone app. This is making me aware of the things I mindlessly put in my mouth, and in the long-run, I believe it will help me lose weight.  I want to want to lose 2 pounds a week on average this next year so I will be in good shape by my 50th birthday because I may be knocking of 50's door right now, but next year I am kicking it in.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

They're not sticking me and they're not cutting me.

I went to the orthopedist today... that's the doctor who takes care of spine and joints. My primary care doctor sent me there a couple months ago. Last time I went the doctor said the problem was not weight related, which is strange because they all say it is weight related. He said that physical therapy would help the problem which he felt was caused in my back... but affecting my leg.

I went back to day for follow up and met with a new doctor. The previous doctor was no longer there. I actually did not see the doctor, but the physicians assistant.  He didn't touch me. He just said that it was time for an MRI and possible injection and then maybe surgery.  I was like... excuse me?  You're not sticking me and you're not cutting me. My leg numbness is getting better and I just want you to address the fact that physical therapy is focusing on a quadrant of my back, and now causing the rest of that side pain... the whole right side to the neck needs addressing.

He was quite rude. When I repeated myself he said "I heard you the first time", but then he was repeating himself about "this is what we do... surgery"... well, dammit... I'm gonna finish up another month of physical therapy, and lost weight because last time I lost weight, this problem went away.

They tell us not to self diagnose, but when a therapy is working and they want to jump ahead, then why should we trust them?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Observations with a cane

I have been using a cane for just under a month now. It is interesting to see how much is confuses some people and calls other's to action.

The confusion I am sure is because of my face. No one believes that I am 48, turning 49 in about 10 days. But the cane instantly ages a person so they look at the cane, look at my face, and look at the cane again... then I am sure they decide it is weight related, and they move on.

Other's jump into action. As I am working on my vintage booth/business, moving furniture from time to time men and younger women jump in and take over.  It is sweet, but they don't handle my furniture as carefully as I would, so sometimes I leave the cane in the car until I am done with my work.... and then I really, really need it.

Oh, the cane... why?  Numbness and tripping... so I need it for balance.  The physical therapist is working to fix the issue, and I am working do drop a few pounds because I am sure that will help.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Oh good, I'm not dying

So apparently, my vitamin D level is very, very, very low.  That would explain the exhaustion and weakness.  I am taking supplements.  I have to follow up with a battery of other doctors I have been avoiding... yay.  I did get to the orthopedist who doesn't really know why my leg goes numb, but we will try physical therapy and see if there is a change.  (I have good insurance, so we can monkey around for a while, I guess).

Meanwhile, I really, really, really, really need to get this homeschool book done.  So many people are calling me for advice... and it seems black people are leaving the schools en-mass.  They are figuring out what I figured out a dozen or so years ago.  No child's best interest will ever be looked after... it is for the good of the group, which rarely serves individual.... and if you're black, it serves you even less.

Read: Young, Gifted, and Black, Prepare to fight for your education. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The health club mafia can't stop me

I can tell you that the health club is taking up a lot of time that homeschooling used to... yay!

I can also tell you that a certain contingent of health club life is just as annoying if not more so than the worst homeschool parent meeting where they are comparing curriculum and someone has decided to champion Math-U-See as if their life has depended on it... and woe to anyone who likes something else.

So there is a large bunch of women (all of the same nationality) who like to take over the locker room with their saggy naked butts dangling about, sitting on the benches with nothing in between their Lee-la's and the benches that other people have to use.  The good news is that they have commandeered one of three sections of the locker room with vengeance, so at least we know that it might be safe to sit on the other two benches... but frankly, I'd rather stand in a pool of piranhas than put my tooshie anywhere near where they are all sitting nude as the day they were born.

The nakedness isn't the only think that keeps the rest of us from using that portion of the gym locker room.  No.  It is the Kimmy Jin stare that makes us use the other two sections of the dressing area.  They do the same in the whirlpool, and sauna.  If any of them are in there, they try to freeze you out.  (They can keep the whirlpool, but they aren't freezing me out of the sauna.)

Kimmy Jin stare (from Pitch Perfect)

Today, I decided to go to the gym with my husband and use the pool.  Normally, I take an aerobics class, but since there was no class at the time I was going, I decided to take a lane and do all of my favorite and most effective exercises that I have learned in the 6 months I have been going to the gym.  My method is to take up a lane as if I am a swimmer and use hand weights. While doing each exercise, I move up and down the pool, thereby taking up a lane.

Well people from this same group apparently wanted the lane I was in... so they would get in the pool, get in my lane, even though there was always one or two empty lanes at that moment.  They would see my working my way up and down my lane, either doing jumping jacks, high jumps, cross country skiing, or what have you.  My body never stopped moving, and I had hand weights in my hand which were also moving at full speed.  Needless to say, it wasn't safe for anyone but me in my lane... but nooo... They would get in my lane, in my way, and try to give me the Kimmy Jin stare down.

So this is me....  (skip to 1:15)
Image courtesy of

I am clearly moving my tooshie, working hard, and kicking butt and someone just gets in my lane and stands there in an aggressive stance as If that means I need to surrender my lane or something...  But it didn't work...  I was all like... THIS IS MY LANE, and if you want to stand there, you are going to get hit either and arm, a leg, or a hand weight.

So now I'm not just exercising my butt off, for a whole hour at a time, but I am also practicing my best stink-eye in an effort took keep these interlopers out of my lane.

Good fun.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Case of the missing ovaries

I've decided that my doctor is an idiot.

I was sent to her by the endocrinologist that is taking care of my daughter for PCOS and pre-diabetes.  I thought.. finally, some folks who know what they are doing, I want to go here... but NOOOOO  I needed a referral... go to this doctor first, and I landed in idiot town.

So why is she an idiot?

1.  She looked me in the eye and said the only way to lose the weight is to gradually cut your calories to 1000 a day and stay on that for the rest of your life.  Uh-no.  Try typing that into Google, and you get a great big honking NO.  According to WebMD,
  • Reducing calorie intake to 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day for women and 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day for men. Women should not restrict themselves to fewer than 1,000 calories per day and men to fewer than 1,200 calories per day without medical supervision.
2.  The lab techs after my ultrasound said that I had no ovaries.  I know I have ovaries, and I know they are functional. Maybe they should try standing in front of one of my mood swings.  I told the doctor, I didn't think they could find them because they weren't where they were looking... I showed her where I felt cyclical pain, and she shook her head and said "Ovaries don't migrate".   That's interesting, because I've read numerous reports of missing or moved ovaries before and after hysterectomy.   

3.  She feels I should magically lose a whole bunch of weight and come back in 3 months to do the testing again. (cuz you can't see ovaries through fat?) If I could magically lose a whole bunch of weight, I would have already done it and I would have to walk around with a bat to beat the men off me. 

4.  She labeled me as morbidly obese.  I AM NOT TWICE MY DEAL BODY WEIGHT... not even close.  AND I have a great deal of muscle, and I know my BMI is not into that range either.  And I don't have high blood pressure and I don't have diabetes.  I just have a big butt and am round in the middle. 

So... I am seeking a doctor who 1. deals with the whole body, and 2. has special training in obesity.  I am tired of doctors who fat shame instead of looking at the problem... and here's my issue.... with PCOS, which no one seems to be able to diagnose, I it is very hard to maintain a normal weight. So I am caught in a huge catch 22.   Second, my mother died of ovarian cancer at age 55...  found it at 47 and I am 45... So excuse me if you shrugging and saying, well, we can't see your ovaries, so there isn't a problem.  

Grrr.  makes me so mad.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Indeterminate Asymmetry ...or breast screening terror

So I had my call back mammogram today.  I tried to not think of it much since I got my tests back a few days ago and was told that I had an indeterminate asymmetry, or in other words, something was wonky with one of my breasts.

So they warned my that the visit would be 2-4 hours, and it was. Another mammogram, this time the technician was much more grim than the last, and avoided eye contact... great.

Then I went in for an ultrasound.  

I had one ultrasound.

Then I had another ultrasound.

Then I waited in an exam room on a table alone for a half hour for the doctor who did another ultrasound.

All the time, I was staring at a spot on the screen that definately showed that there was something in my breast that did not necessarily belong there.  In the final exam with the doctor,  after he probed my breast using a lot of pressure with the ultrasound machine, then he told me not to worry, it didn't look like cancer, but he just wanted to look at the photos more closely to make sure.

In the end, and one very sore boob later, it was determined that my indeterminate asymmetry is a small cluster of tiny cysts and nothing to worry about.  There is no fluid around the cysts, so they were pretty sure there is no cancer.   I have to have a yearly mammogram from now on to keep an eye on it.

In other news, I get to address the case of the missing ovaries tomorrow.  I ALREADY know I have cysts there, but my ultrasound came back with no sign of my ovaries at all.  Apparently, they are hiding.

I'm going to repeat this from an earlier post. Don't let homeschooling be a reason to neglect your health.   In my case, first, I stopped going due to poor insurance during a period of unemployment and under-employment for hubby... I didn't go back because homeschooling was far more exciting than going to the doctor, and I always had some more important homeschooling thing that I wanted to do.

I should have had a mammogram 5 years ago and regularly since then.  What if the problem was more serious than benign cysts?

Till next time...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Surrendering to ignorance

Water Aerobics is one of the things that has been filling my time as of late, especially since my kids are all grown up and in college.  Gotta get the ole body in shape if I plan to keep on keeping on.

Today's class caused an interesting observation. We had a substitute teacher who claims that she has taught water aerobics before.  However, she was up on the platform, doing a zumba routine, and pretty much giving no instruction.  Meanwhile, all of us down in the water were pretty much flopping around like dying fish. You see, movement under water is very different than movement on dry land. Water makes you weightless, taking the stress of exercise off your legs, feet, and knees, which is why many people, both large and/or elderly don't exercise... because our feet swell up and our knees ache.  So here we are, doing our darndest to keep up, but she's bouncing on dry land, two of these moves, a wiggle, two of those moves, and jump, and eventually many of us began to just stand still, bewildered, or starting doing our own routines learned from previous instructors.

Other people started complaining loudly and a murmur began to rise in the pool. I decided that if anyone was going to get benefit from the session, and if I wanted to prevent people from hurling water weights at her head, that I had to say something.  So I bounced across the pool and attempted to get her attention... and she ignored me.  Finally, I spoke us and said excuse me... I am sorry, but I have to interrupt.  She stopped the music and listened.  I apologetically explained that the water was deep, and we had a completely different gravity and reaction time that she did.  She needed to slow down and do more repetitions, because once we picked up one move, she had moved on to something else.

Some people started applauding, and I gave them the cut it out sign, waving my flattened hand under my chin, and making a face that said... let it go.  And she did adjust the routine a little, but by then, we had all figure out how to alter her moves to me more effective, and less dangerous in water.

Toward the end of the session, people started mumbling that they were going to give her a piece of their mind. I tried to cut them off at the pass and give her a little gentle advice.  I said, "Perhaps you should try your routine in the water sometime and I bet you will instantly know what adjustments to make".  She snapped, "I've done it in the water".   So I put my hands up in a 'surrender' pose and backed away.  I let the crowd descend.

And my observation is that there are going to be some people who think they know everything, but really, they just have untested ideas. They have no desire to learn or alter their thinking, even through trial and error and so they are going to have to get slammed in life in order to change their ways... if they change their ways at all.

I instantly applied that to the struggles I am having with my doctor (I will write about the case of the missing ovaries later)... with some relatives, and with my kids.  Sometimes, you have to step away and let people think what they are going to think, and do what they are going to do.  You can give advice, but they don't have to take it.  Sometimes our only remaining action is to throw up our hands and walk away.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I went to Zumba

So I got railroaded into going to Zumba today.

FYI.  I have no rhythm, but in the spirit of taking care of myself, I went.

While most of the women were kinda keeping up, and other's were twerking, I was pretty much jerking around like I had a physical ailment.

My personal performance reminded me of this "tweaking" (not really twerking) video

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

On Health and Diets

I have seriously been neglecting my health.

First, I was just sick of doctors telling me that losing weight was the answer to all my problems.  Second, there was always some homeschooling task or event more important and fun than a doctors appointment.

There's that and the fact that it was hard to make doctors appointments while toting kids around and how the doctors staff used to glare at me for bringing them to appointments when they were younger.  When they were finally old enough to be left home, I missed a scheduled appointment and the self important doctor's office left me a message to not come back...  so... it's been about 5 years since seeing a Gyn and 3 years since seeing a general practitioner for anything

So with no excuses left, I dragged my butt to the doctor yesterday.  I am not pleased.

I decided to go because of a diagnosis my daughter got that I had been trying to get for myself for years (PCOS).  So I asked the endocrinologist if they would see me and they said I had to get referred back.  Shoot.  OK.  I made an appointment.

So I write down my history.  Relatives health issues, my own health history, my surgeries, and last appointments.  Then we go over it.

I explain to the doctor why I am there.  Sure this hurts, and that is bothersome, but I want to get this particular health issue addressed, and I am tired of doctors just waiving their hand and saying, well, if you just lose weight....

Son of a biscuit.....   She did exactly that.  And proceeded to tell me that the only way to get the weight off is to gradually lower my calorie intake to 1000 calories a day.

Sure that would make me thinner, but it would take away any muscle mass I have and then as soon as I could no longer hold the 1000 calories a day, I would end up twice the size I am now.....  no-thank you.  and Suck it, madam doctor.

I left livid, with a pile of tests I need to have run before I can get referred out.  I scheduled my ear irrigation, mammogram, and ultrasounds all in the same day.  That is how eager I am to just get through this process and get the real problem addressed.

I am praying right now that all these tests come back like last time... that I am in overall great health, in spite of my size 20 pants. I am praying that I can get the help that Jordan is getting that is the main cause of not being able to control my weight... and I am hoping I never have to see that 1000-calorie-a-day doctor again.